Tuesday, June 12, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 20th sloka

Hare Krishna,

This is the last sloka of 15th chapter. Lord Krishna explains the significance of this chapter and benefits of the knowledge. We have seen till now seen how lord Krishna has started explaining the world as a tree and how it this tree of the world is sustained. He also explained the earth and sustenance of life on it. He further moves to the microcosm level and explains human life, birth and death cycle. At every stage he emphasizes that he alone is the cause of existence and that he is the substratum of all. Thus he makes us understand the ultimate reality of Brahman.

15.20 – ithi guhyatamam sastram iti uktam maya anagha
Etat bhuddva budhhimaanasya krta-krityah cha bharata

Meaning of words:
Ithi –this
Guhyataam – most secretive/mystical
Sastram – scripture
Iti utkam maya – has thus been uttered by me
Anagha – ignorant person
Etat – this scripture
Buddhiman – wise
Krta-krtiyah – reaching target
Bharata – son of bharata dynasty

Meaning of sloka
Arjuna , the son of bharata dynasty, this most secretive/mystical scripture I mentioned , if understood will make a person wise and he would feel that he has achieved what needs to be achieved in this world.

This chapter contains all the essence of Vedas, the import of the gita is mentioned in brief here. Hence even though Gita is a smrithi, Lord Krishna calls this chapter itself as a shastra. It is a very secrective and mystical scripture because, knowing that brahman alone exists is easy, but putting it into practice is very difficult. One should get the knowledge of ultimate reality, practice to accept everything in the world as brahman itself and be ever established in brahman. As it’s a difficult path to tread, as its difficult to understand such an abstract subject and contemplate on it, the lord calls it as mystical. Out of crores of people , only thousands come to know about brahman by the grace of GOD, out of the thousands of people only few people can realize it. Hence its considered to be mystical, not easy to be understood by all.
Ones a person realizes the true nature of the world, he knows that nothing but brahman alone exists in the world. Thus when one understands this he becomes wise, he develops a strong conviction that there is no duality in the world and that everything is an illusion. Like the water in the desert seems to exist so also this world seems to exist. As desert only is real and water is just an illusion, so also the ultimate reality of brahman alone exists as the substratum. When a person knows and understands this, he will have nothing else to achieve in this world. He is ever blissful, he is unaffected by the worldly activities, he is ever immersed in the self , which alone is real, thus he becomes wise. He develops a krita-kritya bhavam, meaning attaining which there is nothing else to achieve.

Thus Krishna concludes the chapter saying that, knowing brahman , understanding brahman as all pervading and being ever established in brahman a person would get moksha.

Hare Krishna


Monday, June 11, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 19th sloka

Hare Krishna,

Lord Krishna has explained the three purushas in detail. He talks about the uttama purusha who the supreme person is called purushotamam by people in the world and in the Vedas. He concludes the chapter in the coming slokas.

15.19 – yo maam eva assamoodah jaanati purushotamam
Sah sarva vit bhajanti maam sarva bhavena bharata

Meaning of words:
Yo --- he who
Maam eva –me
Jaanati – knows
Assamoodah – free from delusion
Purushotamam – supreme being
Sah -- he
Sarva vit – all knowing
Bhajati – adores
Maam – me
Sarva bhavena – with his mind fixed on me
Bharata – one who belongs to the bharata dynasty

Meaning of sloka
O son of bharata dynasty, he who is free of delusion knows me as the purushotama or supreme person. Such a person with always fix his mind unto me.

One who knows about the tree of the world, the birth and death life cycle, the power behind the sun and the moon, the reason how the life is sustained on earth, the essence of food, the one who digests the food , the one who is the sole reason of the very existence of the creation, the substratum of everything in the world, he doesn’t get deluded by the world. He who knows that the uttama purusha is supreme among akshara and kshara purushas, would know that they are just illusions in the uttama purusha. He who knows that everything in this world is an illusion and the only reality is the uttama purusha or purushotama or brahman is not deluded ,by the seeming duality of the world. Another meaning of it is that a person who is deluded by the world wouldn’t know the real nature of the world.
Lord Krishna says such a person who is free of delusions ,who always see me in everything , as he doesn’t get deluded by maya , and he sees the brahman behind all names and forms, thereby he always contemplates on brahman, thus he always remain established in self, his mind is always fixed in self. This means that the person is not effected by the world or the activities in the world. Thus he gets liberated, he attains moksha. This is the fruit of self – knowledge, which can be got from this chapter.
Thus Krishna explains the real nature of the lord and the fruit of attaining this knowledge.

Hare Krishna


Thursday, June 7, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 18th sloka

Hare Krishna,

We have seen the 3 types of purushas and their characteristics in the last 2 slokas. In todays sloka Lord Krishna is Concluding the topic on the three purushas and explains how the uttama purusha is different from the kshara and akshara purusha.

15.18 – yasmat kshara atitah aham akshara api uttamam
Atosmi loke vede cha pratitah purushottamam

Meaning of words:
Yasmat – since
Kshara – the mutable
Atitah – beyond
Aham – I
aKshara – the immutable
uttamam – supreme
atosmi –hence
loke – world
vede—in the Vedas
pratitah – well known
purushottamam – the supreme self.

Meaning of sloka
I , the uttama purusha is beyond the kshara purusha and supreme among the akshara purusha’s . I am well known in the Vedas and in the world as the purushottamam.

Lord Krishna says that the uttama purusha is beyond the kshara purusha as the kshara pursuha is mutable and is an illusion, nut the uttama purusha is all pervading, as is the ultimate reality and only thing that which exists in this world. Hence uttama purusha , the immutable, imperishable is beyond kshara purusha.
In comparision to the akshara purusha , Lord Krishna says that uttama purusha is supreme among all the akshara pursuha’s i.e the kutastha atma(s) in all jeevas. Kutastha is limited by the body adjuncts, while the uttama purusha has no limitations. As long as a person considers himself as kutastha , separate from uttama purusha., the limitation exists, when he considers himself one with the uttama purusha he will find himself one with everything in the universe. Saint veda vyasa had a son suka who was by birth a realized self. At a very young age he left home. Troubled father veda vyasa called out to his son. As vyasa was also a realized self, he could speak with his son who was passing through the woods , through the trees. So the trees passed on the message of father to the son. Thus when one identifies onself with the Uttama purusha , the all pervading self, he has identified himself with everything in the universe. As brahman is present everywhere without any limits of time and space, so also a person who becomes one with the Uttama purusha feels the same.
Thus Sri Krishna says that I am called as “Purushottamam” in the Vedas as well as in the world.

Hare Krishna


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 17th sloka

Hare Krishna,

In the earlier sloka Lord Krishna explained about the kshara akshara purushas ,that which are mutable and immutable. In continuation, in this sloka he explains about uttama purusha.

15.17 – Uttama purusha anyah paramah iti udahrtah
Yo loka traya avisya bibharti avyayah ishwarah

Meaning of words:
Uttama purusha – the supreme person
Anyah – different in characteristics
Udahrtah – as per Upanishads
Yo – who
Loka –traya – the three worlds
Avisya – permeates
Bibharti – upholds
Avyaya – imperishable
Ishwarah – god

Meaning of sloka
The supreme purusha is different from the kshara(mutable) and akshara(immutable) purushas. He is the supreme lord spoken about in the Upanishads. He permeates the three lokas and also sustains them. He is the imperishable lord ishwarah.

Lord Krishna here mentions about the Uttama purusha or the pure consciousness the Upanishads talk about. This uttama purusha is entirely different from the kshara and akshara purusha. As we have seen in the earlier sloka kshara purusha is the mutable entity which changes and akshara purusha is immutable and is the consciousness present in every living being. So the question may arise as to what is the difference between the akshara purusha and uttama purusha. Akshara purusha is also called kutastha and uttama purusha is called brahman , about whom the Upanishads talk about. Both kutastha and brahman are the same as the pot space and the space outside the pot are the same. They are different with respect to the limitations. Kutastha is limited to the body adjuncts, as the pot space is limited by the pot, as the room space is limited by the room. Thus brahman is different from both kutastha and the kshara purusha or the changing body.

The supreme being or brahman is present in all the three lokas – bhuh (Earth), bhuvah (intermediate space) and the svah( the heaven) . He is the creator of the whole world and sustains the world. He is the creator and protector of the universe. He is of the nature of sat chit ananda.

Thus Lord Krishna talks about 3 purushas the kshara or the changing body, akshara or the immutable or kutastha ,which has body limitations and the uttama purusha which is of the nature of sat chit ananda, the all pervading brahman , not limited by time and space. Once the seeker goes beyond the adjuncts of the body , the kutastha becomes one with the Brahman , as when the pot is broken down , or the walls of the room are broken down, the room space or pot space becomes one with the space outside. This state of realization a seeker should strive for.

Hare Krishna


15th Chapter of Gita-- 16th sloka

Hare Krishna,
Till the previous sloka we have seen that Lord Krishna explains that he is responsible for the moon and the sun to shine and how the earth is sustained through his power. He is present in all the life on earth, he nourishes the plants and he is present as the fire in the stomach of human beings. After explaining that he is the substratum of everything which exists on earth, he now explains how duality is being perceived in this world, even though he alone exists in the world. He explains the world consisting of two purushas.

15.16 – Dva imau purushau loke kshara akshara eva cha
Kshara sarvani bhutani kutastha akshara uchyathe

Meaning of words:
Dva Imau – these two groups
Purushau – persons , so called
Loke – in the world
Kshara – the mutable
Akshara – the immutable
Sarvani bhutani – all living beings
Kutashtha – the anvil
Uchyathe – called

Meaning of sloka

There are two purushas in the world, the kshara and the akshara .All living beings come under kshara purusha .The akshara purusha is like the anvil which creates all forms of iron, its nothing but pure conciousness.

The word purusha means that which exists in the town of the body. Puri means town or the body and purusha is one who stays in the town. So here lord Krishna is referring to the consciousness present in the jeeva. He says that there are kshara and akshara two groups or entities in the world. Kshara is one which is mutable ,that which undergoes changes. Akshara means that which is immutable, that which does not change. Another meaning of the word purusha at the macrocosm level is that which is full and perfect in everything.

Lord Krishna says that all living beings on the earth are mutable i.e kshara purusha . The jeeva can be considered as kshara. Jeeva undergoes various changes in life, both physical and mental changes. He said to undergo the 6 modifications, shad vikaras. As we have seen in the earlier sloka’s jeeva is the reflected consciousness being associated with the vasanas, the antah karana of mind, intellect ,memory and ego. Jeeva is the reflection of the original consciousness in the reflecting medium of intellect or buddhi. When the intellect changes , the deeds/thoughts/desires of the person would change. Thus jeeva is subjected to changes and hence is mutable.
Depending on the medium the reflection changes and depending upon number of mediums the reflections are many, hence many jeevas. The reflection in pure water is different from impure water. So based on the intellect the jeeva’s are different from one another.. Here there may be a question of how, many jeeva’s are illumined by one consciousness? Is it simultaneous process or not. Its answered thus --As the sun illumines both the eyes at the same time., so also all the jeeva’s in the world are illumined by the same Consciousness at the sametime.

The original consciousness is the immutable entity, akshara purusha according to Lord Krishna. As the anvil shapes the iron pieces, as the iron pieces are formed from the anvil but the anvil doesn’t undergo any change, so also jeeva is formed from Original consciousness or OC, which is immutable. As the sun shines and illumines the world and is not effected by the activities in the world, so also the OC is unaffected and is immutable. It bears the witness to the activities undertaken under its presence, like the sun bears the witness to the activities undertaken under its illumination. Just as the thread ties or holds all the beads in a necklace, so also the immutable OC which is saakshi bhoota (or witness) exists in all jeevas and illumines them.

This can be also interpreted in this way. There are two things in the world , the changing jeeva and the changeless Brahman. The changing things depend upon the changeless. All changing things need changeless substratum of Brahman. The jeeva changes takes various forms in various birth’s but the changless substratum of conciousness remains the same, which is carried over in various births. Hence for a person who identifies himself with the changless substratum of conciousness, he has no birth and death. Birth and death are only for the changing entity of body and antah karana. Such a person is realized. He always bears witness to the activities he does in this world and thus is ever established in brahman.

Hare Krishna


15th Chapter of Gita-- 15th sloka

Hare Krishna,
In continuation with the earlier sloka, where the Lord says that he alone is present in the form of fire in the stomach, and he is the food that is taken and he alone digests the food. Thus is the cause of sustenance of human life. He explains this further in the below sloka.

15.15 – Sarvasya aham hridi sannivisto matah smrithi jyaana apohanam cha
Vedyah sarvaiah aham eva vedaih vedantha krit vedavit cha aham

Meaning of words:
Sarvasya – in all human being
Aham – me(the consciousness)
Hridi – in the heart
Sannivisto--- reside
Matah – from me
Smrithi – memory
Jyaana – intellect
Apohanam – loss of memory
Vedyah – the object to be known
Sarvaiah –through all
Vedaih – the Vedas
Aham eva – me
Vedanta- krit – the originator of Vedas
Veda-vit – one who knows Vedas
Aham – me

Meaning of sloka

I reside in the heart of all human beings. I am the reason for the memory, intellect or knowledge and loss of memory in them. I am the knowledge of all the Vedas. I am the originator of all the Vedas and I alone is the knower of the Vedas.

Lord Krishna says that he resides in the heart of all human beings. Here it doesn’t mean the physical location. It implies the substratum of all beings, the origination of life. If heart is present, life exists, Hence it’s the origination of life, hence he says he is present in the heart, but he is not confined to the heart, as we have seen in the earlier slokas , when Krishna says that he is the fire in the stomach, which digests the food.
He is responsible for the memory, knowledge and loss of memory in human beings. The knowledge and memory of creatures who perform good and bad deeds is from him. If he is not responsible for giving us the knowledge , we would be devoid of knowledge of Vedanta. If we weren’t given the power of memorizing things, We would forget what was taught in the Vedanta classes each day. If there wasn’t loss of memory , then the pain of loosing loved ones cannot be forgotten and life wouldn’t move forward. He is power behind the antah karana or the mind, intellect and loss of memory.
He is the essence or truth of all the Vedas. All the Vedas talk about him as the sat chit ananda roopa, of nature of bliss. From him the Vedas have come. He is the originator of Vedas. He alone is the knower of Vedas, means that the person who actually knows the Vedas is brahman alone. Because a person who knows the Vedas knows himself, his very nature and becomes ever established in brahman. Hence a person who knows Vedas knows him(the consciousness) or knows himself.

Hare Krishna


15th Chapter of Gita-- 14th sloka

Hare Krishna,
The Lord says that he alone is present in the earth and sustains the earth from falling and is the power behind it. He also said in the earlier slokas that he is the one who nourishes the plants and is the soma or juices which sustain the plants. Such he said that he is sustainer of the life on the earth .He further explains about how he sustains human life on earth.

15.14 – Aham vaisvanarah bhutva praninaam deham asritaha
Prana apana samayuktah pacami annam chaturvidham

Meaning of words:
Aham – Myself
Vaisvanara – the fire in the stomach
Bhutva— taking form of
Praninaam -- of the living beings
Deham – the body
Asritaha – residing
Prana – The vital force of breathing, that goes upwards
Apana – The vital force that goes downwards and seated in the excretion
Pacami – digest
Annam – food
Chaturvidham – four types

Meaning of sloka

I am the fire or vaisvanara in the stomach of the living beings and digest the food taken and thus sustain the body in association with the vital forces of prana apana ,etc.

The fire in the man which digests the food is called vaisvanara. Vaisvanara can be further divided into prana,apana,udana,vyana and samana. These are the vital forces of the body. Apana is the force working downwards and is seated at the excretory system. Prana is the force which moves upwards and is seated in the heart. So being the vaisvanara or the fire in the body it digests the food. So Lord says that the fire in the stomach is brahman, or sustainer of life. As we all know that food is the life giver. Without food and water mind and body do not work. One cannot stay without food and water. Energy derived from the food gets distributed to all parts of the body. Hence it is life sustainer.
Vaisvanara digests food of 4 types i.e food that is eaten by masticating, swallowing, sucking and licking. The eaten food is the soma , the eater is the vaisvanara . One who looks upon all that there is as being these two, fire and Soma, is not affected by the impurity of food.

Hare Krishna